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Guide to applying for research funding: After finding an appropriate form of funding

Start early

Start planning the project and writing the application well in advance. We recommend starting the work several months before the deadline of the application process. The competition is tough and it is easier to draft a good application if you are able to put it aside every now and then and come back to it with fresh eyes. Preparing an international and/or a consortium project requires substantially more time than applying for a personal grant. We also recommend reserving some time for having some colleagues and individuals not familiar with the topic read the application. Remember also to contact the Research Services in good time. Please note that if you do not contact Research Services until only a few days before the deadline of the application, the services will only have time to check the formal aspects of the application.

Find out about potential cooperation partners, their interest and level of commitment. Agree on division of labour and responsibilities. The main responsibility always lies with the head of the project, in other words the principal investigator.

Commitment of the site of research and informing the necessary parties

Agree on the provision and schedule of commitment of the site of research (i.e. Uniarts Helsinki):

  • The applicant organisation and contracting party is always a legal person, in other words Uniarts Helsinki, even if the project is implemented in one or several academies or research centres and is directed by the principal investigator of the project.
  • The commitment of the site of research (Uniarts Helsinki) to the funding application is given by the dean of the academy, Vice Rector for doctoral education and research or the Rector, depending on the amount of funding applied for and the placement of the project.

The right to approve applications and agreements depends on the total project budget and placement. Total budget = share sought from funder + potential own funding share of the university.

< EUR 50,000: Director of the unit

EUR 50,000–100,000: Dean

> EUR 100,000–1,000,000: Vice Rector

> EUR 1,000,000: Rector

In joint projects of academies (=more than 1 academy involved) and in projects of focus area research centres, the commitment is given by the Vice Rector, and in applications exceeding EUR 1,000,000, by the Rector.

Foundations usually pay personal monthly grants directly to the applicant. They are not taken into account in the total budget figure, i.e. the above approval limits only concern funding that is administered by the university.

  • The researcher/principal investigator of the project must discuss the project and its potential benefits and risks with the director of the research unit and their potential future superior before submitting the application. (Information on project risk assessment in the project guide for researchers)
  • The director of the focus area research centre discusses the project with the Vice Rector and, if necessary, the deans of the academies.
  • The researcher/principal investigator of the project must submit a draft of the application (abstract or other short description, budget and any other required information) to the Research Services 2 weeks before the deadline of the application at the latest. Research Services compile this information for the provider of the commitment of the site of research for projects with a total budget of more than EUR 100,000, joint projects of academies and projects of focus area research centres. The deans determine the presenters of projects with a maximum value of EUR 100,000 in the academies.
  • The principal investigator of the project must also confirm the resources required for the project already in the application phase with the academies and services. (Contact persons and services in the project guide for researchers)
  • In addition to the management/provider of the commitment of the site of research, remember to inform the research coordinator of the academy, doctoral programme or research centre. The contact details of coordinators are available in Artsi and in the tab Research services in the application phase.

Funder’s instructions

Read the funder’s instructions thoroughly. In addition to the actual application instructions and criteria, we recommend learning about the most common focal points and strategies of the funder and, in particular, the instructions of the evaluators, if available. Ensure that the evaluator will be able to easily find the answers to the evaluation questions in your plan.

Contact persons

Application-phase services
SibA, CERADA, History Forum

Senior Research Funding Advisor Tiia Saarinen,, 040 860 9538

TeaK, KuvA, CfAR

Advisor Kirsi Rinne,, 050 440 4150

Further information

Personal grants awarded by foundations

Remember to contact the director of your doctoral programme/research unit even if a written university commitment is not required in the application phase.